As we move along into the season of Fall and with this series on reasons for prolonged singleness, this month’s topic of discussion is spiritual warfare and the accompanying need for prayer.
Now, I have always known that the devil exists and tries to wreak havoc in our lives. However, it is the exact way in which he attacks singles that I am going to point out. This blog post is a little longer than I usually write, so please bear with me!
The Origins of This Hate
It is a reality that Satan hates us humans. But did you know that he especially hates marriage? This is because the devil hates God. As you will recall, God is three in one – the Most Holy Trinity. In my blog post, “God Loves Marriage: How Come? Part I,” I detail how the creation account in Genesis 1:26-31 and 2:18-25 offers us a glimpse into who God is, a relationship of three persons, which is the Most Holy Trinity.
God is never alone, and his intention was for human beings not to be alone either as we are made in his image and likeness. The model God has for his image and likeness in this regard is marriage. It is in the exchange of marital vows and persons alone that a family is created, and a “School of Love” is built. Both mirrors what the Most Holy Trinity experiences.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) §391-395, a summary is provided on the demise of the fallen angels, the havoc they wreak on mankind, and the limits to their power. Specifically, §395 states the following:
“Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature – to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history.”
How Important Marriage Is
The CCC also tells us something about how important marriage is and its role in the order of creation:
“The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed with its own proper laws. …God himself is the author of marriage’ The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they come from the hand of the creator…. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.” (CCC §1603)
Marriage is from God – he is the author of it. The vocation to marriage is written into the very disposition – the essence – of who we are. The health and well-being of individuals, the Church, and societies are closely tied to the conjugal state. Is it any wonder that we are seeing marriage attacked, and less people marrying today?
The Devil’s True Identity
In the scriptures, we get a picture of the devil’s true character. For instance, in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that the devil “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is the father of lies.” (John 8:44b) We also learn that the devil is “a thief (that) comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy.” (John 10:10a)
In understanding the true nature of the devil, we can know that his greatest MO towards us is lies. With lies, he seeks to steal from us and destroy us, ultimately wrecking our souls and pilfering our salvation from us. We all know this is his end game.
In the here and know, however, his antics are a bit craftier. The devil uses lies to keep people single, to steal their hope that God will help them get married and destroys their future possibilities for love and marriage.
For example, in the beginning, “The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” (Genesis 2:18) Marriage was the antidote and the provision for several things in the garden. It met the need for our aloneness. The need for a helpmate in meeting the “common work of watching over creation: ‘And God blessed them, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” (CCC §1604)
The lie that the devil perpetrates today is “that it is good to be alone.” We hear this in society at large and even in the cultural church. Marriage has no longer become necessary. I even hear it when I tell people what I write about! The same lie that was out there when I was single: “You know some people are called to be single. Not everyone can get married.”
I am here to tell you that this is a lie from the pit of hell. If you desire marriage, have discerned this to be your vocation, (read my blog post, The Vocation Awakening) and have been told these things by people, do not believe them. Marriage is necessary and you can marry, with God’s help. “Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’ The woman, ‘flesh of his flesh,’ his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a ‘helpmate; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.” (CCC §1605)
In a future blog post series, I am going to cover the lies currently out there being promulgated against singles regarding their desire for marriage, etc. But this is an entire topic all together. The important takeaway is that the devil lies to you about your vocation. He tempts you to believe that God will not help you and that marriage is not necessary.
We both know that prayer is important and necessary. However, what is needed is constancy in your prayer as well.
Since we are dealing with spiritual warfare, it is important to note that “our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Sometimes we can pray for something and these principalities, powers, evil spirits, etc., hold up and/or prevent the answer from reaching us. The only thing that we can do to help ourselves is to continue in our prayers. (especially powerful is the Rosary, as this prayer has been compared to a spiritual sword)
A glimpse of this dynamic is given to us in the Book of Daniel. A vision was given to Daniel in chapter 10. Daniel didn’t understand the meaning of it; thus, he fasted and prayed to God for understanding for three weeks (twenty-one days). In response, a messenger from heaven came on the twenty-fourth day and told Daniel the following:
“Fear not, Daniel,’ he continued; from the very first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the days to come; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.” (Daniel 1012-14)
There are several reasons why we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) This example of assisting with spiritual warfare is just one of them. Therefore, I encourage you to start a prayer campaign towards heaven for a spouse and do not give up!
History Repeats Itself
The devil has been attacking marriage and the family since the beginning of time. This is nothing new. We need to become wise to this.
In addition to tempting Adam and Eve, you may recall that a demon was behind the prolonged singleness of Sarah in the book of Tobit (see my three-part blog series, “Prolonged Singleness and the Bible: A study of Tobit”).
A great resource for a continued study on this topic is a talk by Dr. Brant Pitre entitled, “Marriage, the Family, and Spiritual Warfare in Scripture.” The CD can be obtained at https://catholicproductions.com/collections/brant-pitre/products/marriage-the-family-and-spiritual-warfare-in-scripture#tab1 I highly recommend it.
In conclusion, please remember that Sister Lucia of Fatima stated that, “The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” We are seeing this battle lived out right now. However, I encourage you to consider that this battle also includes the struggle to marry and the lack of marriages occurring.
The next topic on our list is the failure to act. I will address how this is a contributing factor to prolonged singleness next month.
Julieanne M. Bartlett All Rights Reserved Copyright 2022
4 thoughts on “Reasons for Prolonged Singleness Part 5”
Thank you. This post and its timing feels God-ordained and I hope that it is. Between the feast of The Archangels and the Month of The Rosary starting tomorrow there’s this. And I’m reading this right after watching a video I was lead to watch on the levels of spiritual warfare by Fr. Ripperger.
Especially in the last week and a half (after experiencing a few more discouraging dead ends with what seem like promising dating prospects) I’ve been struggling with the thoughts – maybe this is what God wants for me (to always be frustrated, to never be married, to always come close but then have it taken away). I’m still working through exactly what to do with all this but I appreciate your voice in the wilderness and this encouraging call.
You are so welcome, David! I really do understand how you feel. When I was single, I didn’t understand about the spiritual warfare aspects of being single. However, I did have to hold on to very thin, bare threads of hope that God wanted me married and had a spouse for me – especially when I felt like he wasn’t helping me and everyone around me wasn’t very encouraging. Unfortunately, the devil uses people around us and Christians to add to our despair and the lies he feeds us. This is why it is so important to know the truth about what God teaches regarding singleness and marriage via the CCC and the Scriptures. I encourage you to hold on to your hope and keep praying, trusting God for his help : )
Thank you. I pray that this month be filled with great graces and growing in the strength-in-weakness and absolute trust that the saints had.
Thank you, David! I couldn’t agree more with that prayer : )